Archive - August 2012

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You're Not the Only Person Reading This Blog
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Marnie Mueller Opening Remarks at UNLV Black Mountain Institute
3
Self-Publish at your own Risk!
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Jessica Bodiford (Togo 2003-05)
5
Michael Thomsen (China & Madagascar 2002-05) Writes about Sex in the 21st Century
6
Conference on Peace in Sweden
7
Review of From Southern Belle to Global Rebel: Memoirs of an Anthropologist and Activist
8
RPCVs in Milford Set Up Fund for Girls Sexually Abused by Milford Resident. The Agency gives 20K to the Fund.
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Books Nominated (So Far!) for Peace Corps Writer 2011 Awards
10
Mark Shriver on The Colbert Report Last Night

You're Not the Only Person Reading This Blog

Who and how many people are going to this website? Looking at the Google Analytics of www.peacecorpsworldwide.org on any given day (but weekends) and I read something like these numbers that tell us about our site. We average 900 ‘hits’ and the average viewer is on the site for a minute and a half.  More than half are unique visitors, new to the site. On weekends we are down to half that number. If we have something about ‘sex in the Peace Corps’ or tragedy in the agency the number of ‘hits’ jump dramatically.  Visit 9,521  Unique Visitors: 6,820  Pageviews: 15,509  Pages / Visit: 1.63  Avg. Visit Duration: 00:01:34  Bounce Rate: 75.36%  % New Visits: 66.63%

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Marnie Mueller Opening Remarks at UNLV Black Mountain Institute

Studio Hyperset did a 82-minute film of the RPCV writers’ panel discussion organized earlier this year by Richard Wiley (Korea 1967–69) Associate Director of the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas that included Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963–65), Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67), Peter Hessler (China 1996–98) and Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963–65). Marnie was the monitor. She is the author of Green Fires: A Novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest that won the Maria Thomas Award for Fiction and an American Book Award. The Climate of the Country, her second novel, is set in the Tule Lake Japanese American Segregation Camp, where she was born. My Mother’s Island, which takes place in Puerto Rico, was a BookSense 76 selection and is currently under option for a feature film. An essay of Marnies is in the forthcoming anthology, That Mad Game: Growing up in a War Zone. She is at work on a . . .

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Self-Publish at your own Risk!

The New York Times has a great article today (August 16,2012) on “The Joys and Hazards of Self-Publishing on the Web” written by Alan Finder. Here’s one quote: “The single toughest part of self-publishing is getting attention for your book.” Finder goes onto point out that in 2011 nearly 350,000 new print titles were published. And 150,000 to 200,000 of them were put out by self-publishing companies. He goes onto write, “The biggest thing you have against you in trying to sell  your book is that people don’t know about it.” The article explains the two basic kinds of self-publishing companies, both Web-based. If you are interested in writing a book yourself, or have one already published, take a look at this article in today’s TIMES. The truth is that most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies. For every Fifty Shades of Grey there are 100,000 books that are . . .

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Jessica Bodiford (Togo 2003-05)

Jessica Bodiford, author of The Village Idiot: The True Stories of a Peace Corps Volunteer, spoke yesterday at the Rotary Club luncheon in Brookhaven, Georgia. Bodiford is currently the Corporate Volunteerism manager for Hands on Atlanta. At the Rotary luncheon she spoke about how in the Peace Corps she used her bachelor’s degree in theatre as a way to educate people about the importance of sending girls to school. Jessica has also written a radio play about her experiences in Togo called Peace Corps Noire Americaine for the Atlanta Fringe Festival.

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Michael Thomsen (China & Madagascar 2002-05) Writes about Sex in the 21st Century

Michael Thomsen (China & Madagascar 2002-05) lives in New York but is from Fresno, California, went to UCLA and the Peace Corps, and writes about sex. His new book is Levitate The Primate: Hand Jobs, internet Dating, and Other issues for Men. The book jacket says it is a love story, “told in the margins of a new philosophy of 21st Century sexuality.” Each essay recounts bad sex, shambolic internet dates, moral infirmness, handjobs, blowjobs, an HIV scare, an STD, and a hope-filled cross-country move that ended in shambles. The collection is (more from the promotional material) “an epistolary memento of struggling with identity, circumstance, gender constraints, and time itself–all bound by a stubborn animal faith in love as an act of insupportable ascendency, a kind of levitation, longed-for by creatures never meant to leave the ground.” According to Adam Wilson (Flatscreen): Michael Thomsen writes about sex like someone who’s actually had it. That . . .

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Conference on Peace in Sweden

The European Science Foundation and the Linkoping University are organising a Research Conference on: In search of Peace: Dialogues between theories and practices. It will take place on 20 – 24 October at the Norrköping, Sweden  The deadline is extended to 22 September, and several grants are available for young researchers and scholars. European Science Foundation Conference In search of Peace: Dialogues between theories and practices 20 – 24 October 2012 The search for peace is longstanding. And yet, the concept remains elusive. Most probably the reason is simple, namely that peace is never fully achieved, it is not an end-point, but rather a constant process of negotiation among different actors regarding the terms of their relationships in a myriad of different arenas. In this conference the aim is to investigate peace as a process and the various forms in which it has been conceptually framed and empirically practiced. In . . .

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Review of From Southern Belle to Global Rebel: Memoirs of an Anthropologist and Activist

From Southern Belle to Global Rebel: Memoirs of an Anthropologist and Activist by Mary Lindsay Elmendorf (PC Trainer/Consultant – Puerto Rico 1962–63) Sharon Fitzpatrick Publications $12.00 342 pages 2012 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) PEOPLE LIKE MARY LINDSAY ELMENDORF SHOULD ALWAYS write memoirs because, though we may know them for years, we don’t know everything about them. Reading about Mary’s life is like accompanying her on a long and fascinating journey. Mary’s personal life is a story of challenges and joyful adventures, while her professional life reflects over seventy years of international history and global issues. Mary’s memoir is replete with photos that show her as a charming child, as a long-legged, lovely woman, and a mature, gracious lady. Her smile is always there, genuine, exuding a joie de vivre that marks her life. Mary was born in 1917 and raised in North Carolina in the bosom of . . .

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RPCVs in Milford Set Up Fund for Girls Sexually Abused by Milford Resident. The Agency gives 20K to the Fund.

On June 27, 2012 Milford CT resident Jesse Osmun, 32, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing four girls while a PCV in South Africa. Steps are now being taken to set up a restitution fund for girls sexually abused by Osmun while he was in the Peace Corps. $10,000 has been provided by Osmun’s family for the fund. Restitution was discussed as part of a plea agreement, said Osmun’s attorney, Richard Meehan Jr. Osmun is accused of traveling from the United States to South Africa to engage in illicit sexual conduct with children. He has admitted that he sexually abused four minor girls, all under the age of six, while he was a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in South Africa, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Osmun will be sentenced Sept. 19, and he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to . . .

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Books Nominated (So Far!) for Peace Corps Writer 2011 Awards

Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award Feather: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle by Thor Hanson (Uganda 1993-95) The Lion of Judah in the New World: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and the Shaping of Americans’ Attitudes toward Africa By Theodore M. Vestal (PC/Ethiopia 1964-66) Ukraine: Discover the Real Ukraine By Ashley Hardaway (Ukraine 2006-08) Girls of the Factory: A Year with the Garment Workers of Fes By M. Laetitia Cairoli (Morocco 1985-87) The African-American Odyssey of John Kizell: A South Carolina Slave Returns to Fight the Slave Trade in His African Homeland By Kevin G. Lowther (Sierra Leone 1963-65) Angels of Mercy: White Women and the History of New York’s Colored Orphan Asylum By William Seraile (Ethiopia 1963-65) Big Dogs of Tibet and the Himalayas: A Personal Journey By Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Maria Thomas Fiction Award The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories by Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92) . . .

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Mark Shriver on The Colbert Report Last Night

A good friend from Boston (not an RPCV!) sent me this short clip of Mark Shriver on Colbert last night talking about his father and his book on his Dad, A Good Man. It is a informative five minutes about Sarge, his place in history, and how well he is remembered. Check it out. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/417499/august-07-2012/mark-shriver

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